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Duke Snider
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Duke Snider
Duke Snider
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, 1980
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 134 of 984 players
Snider
Edwin Donald Snider
Born: September 19, 1926 at Los Angeles, Cal.
Died: February 27, 2011 at Escondido, Cal.
Throws: Right Bats: Left
Height: 6.00 Weight: 195

Duke Snider was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on February 27, 2011, and February 28, 2011.

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First Mets game: April 9, 1963
Last Mets game: September 25, 1963





Share your memories of Duke Snider

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

rg
This guy is probably the luckiest man ever to go to Cooperstown as he played his prime years in cozy Ebbetts Field surrounded by a strong right-handed kineup. He hardly ever faced lefties -- one year he hit all 40 of his homers off righties. Don Mincher hit more lifetime HR's off lefties.

A telling fact is how the Duke did after the departure from Brooklyn which pretty much coincided with the classic Dodger lineup being broken up: 15,23,14,16,5,14,and 4 were his last 7 homer totals -- surprisingly his highest AB total in that time was with the 1963 Mets.

I know the LA Coliseum was impossible to hit HR's in, but he did play road games and played in Chavez Ravine before going to the Mets. Perhaps because he was prematurely gray, we all thought he was much older as a Met -- he was only 36 when he arrived but had faded after his 31st birthday. By comparison, Al Kaline, who ended up with a similar lifetime HR total but was never a huge HR guy like the Duke in Brooklyn, hit 167 homers after his 31st birthday vs. 91 for Duke.

Charlie
One night at the Polo Grounds when I was 11 years old, I saw the Duke hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth, and the Mets came from behind to win the game.

Matthew
I saw Charlie's comment. I was at the Polo Grounds that same night in 1963. I was ten years old. If memory serves me correctly (which it may not, after 37 years), the Mets were trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning and had two men on base. Duke Snider pinch hit and hit a homer into the rightfield stands, and the Mets won, 5-4. A great memory for me.

Richard Kissel
March 30, 2001
I was born a month after Brooklyn won its only World Series. Nonetheless, and despite the fact that I grew up in the Bronx, I feel a kinship towards that team-- the logical bastard parents of the loveable Mets. A few ex-Brooklyn Dodgers were on the early Mets, Gil Hodges, Charley Neal, Joe Pignatano, Roger Craig and even Clem Labine (maybe only in Spring Training). In 1963, Duke came to the Mets. I remember it well. I can close my eyes and be on my grandmother's couch, watching the old black and white TV and watching him cross the plate after a home run.

mitch
August 27, 2002
After all these years, my memory may be faulty, but I remember the Mets throwing a Willie Mays day for the visiting Giants slugger at the Polo Grounds. Since I grew up in Brooklyn, and always chose Duke in the great centerfielder debate (Mantle, Mays or Snider?), I was thrilled when Duke spoiled Willie's day with two home runs!

Frances Emma Barwood
October 11, 2002
My Uncle Gus Barwood live at 192 Marine Avenue in the Bayridge section just down the street from Duke Snider and his family. Pee Wee Reese also lived nearby and came over many times. I played with Duke's children, Pam and Kevin, almost every time we visited my Uncle Gus, Aunt Dottie and my cousin, Dorothy Alice. I had a picture taken in 1954 when I was 10 with the Duke, Pam, Kevin and myself. It is still somewhere in my boxes. He was so nice and always took time with his children and the other children in the neighborhood. Now that I am retired I think back to the carefree times with the men who I never knew was so famous then. Frances Emma Barwood Retired Phoenix City Councilwoman

Steve Waterbury
July 15, 2003
The Duke: When he played in Brooklyn with Mays and Mantle both in New York Edwin Snider was the most productive run producer and a very underated Centerfielder. Bad knees did him in plus the L.A. move. Mickey, Willie and the Duke. It didn't get any better than that and it never will. One of my moms true heroes. A great World Series hitter.

legalbeagle
February 14, 2005
My all time favorite Dodger. When he came to the Mets I was ecstatic. I remember when he came the newspapers in NY were on strike. Early in the 1963 season he wanted to give some hitting tips to 18-year-old Ed Kranepool, and Kranepool told the Duke, who was hitting about .150 at the time, to keep his advice, since he was not doing so well himself. He wore number 11 for the Mets, and was traded to the hated Giants right before the 1964 season started. Who would ever thunk that the DOOK of Flatbush would ever play for the Giants? Well at least it was in San Francisco.

Gary Crawford
April 28, 2005
Responding to the comments of Charlie and Mathew - the homer by Duke in the bottom of the ninth was off Diomodes Olivo. (Against the Braves, I think) I was 16 at the time and practically jumped out of my chair. A memory I'll never forget. It was pulled the line - upper deck and barely fair.

Pat Curley
October 30, 2005
Charlie and Matthew, I think we remember the same game. I was 8 years old and the Mets were losing 2-0 going into the bottom of the ninth against the Cardinals. They got two runners on and Duke Snider hit one out to right-center to win the ballgame. I went back to the library many years later to look up the game on the microfiche, so I'm sure the score was 3-2. It was a Friday night in June 1963. It was my very first pro game and the only one I saw at the Polo Grounds.

michael james
May 13, 2006
I was at the Polo Grounds for my first baseball game (8yrs old)on Willie Mays night when Duke Snider hit the homer in the bottom of the ninth. That ball hit me in the chest and drove me back into my seat in the upper right field deck. I got the ball, and my dad took me to locker room to meet Duke and have him sign the ball. (Unfortunately lost in one of our many moves.) Duke arranged for us to have tickets for the next home game and met us behind the dugout. He had a news photographer take our picture (I still have it) and send it to me. A class act all the way.

Brian
May 19, 2006
Duke was the greatest. I was so happy when he came to the Mets. It made me a Met fan forever.

Phil
October 1, 2006
He was and still is my favorite baseball player. I grew up a Brooklyn Dodger fan. I had the pleasure of getting his autograph and introducing him to my son.

Mike B
May 10, 2007
The game that Duke homered in the bottom of the 9th was on June 7, 1963. I was there also when he hit it into the upper deck in right. Here's the box score.

Don
September 22, 2007
My favorite baseball player of all-time! I always thought that in his Brooklyn Dodgers days he was actually a better fielder than Willie Mays, more graceful, not as dramatic, along the lines of Joe DiMaggio; he made the catches look easy, not hard. I hated rooting for the Dodgers after they left Brooklyn before the 1958 season, but I felt I had no other choice (Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam & Carl Furillo all went to L.A. as well as the pitchers). When I heard that The Duke was traded to the Mets in 1963, I was happy to become a Mets fan, and have been one ever since.

To the writer above who downgrades The Duke for not hitting 40 home runs while playing in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: perhaps you forget that The Duke played in great pain from June 1955 onwards, due to significant ligament damage to his knee, and perhaps you forget his knee operation in December 1957 (just before the first season in L.A.), which probably should have ended his career; he was never the same ballplayer afterwards.

Dan Gurney
November 25, 2007
I, too, was at the game in the Polo Grounds June 7, 1963 when Duke Snider hit the three-run home run off Diomedes Olivo to beat the Cards 3-2. Glad to see we have others here who were at the game. For the record Snider's home run totals at Ebbets Field and on the road were 1949 8/15 1950 18/13 1951 21/8 1952 12/9 1953 23/19 1954 23/17 1955 23/19 1956 25/18 1957 23/17

I don't know if Snider was the most likable guy in the world. He asked to be traded to the Mets in 1963 and a year later begged to be traded to a good team because it was his last year and he wanted to go out a winner. He was considered to be a guy "who just didn't get it," writing a magazine article in the mid-1950s saying he played baseball for $47,000 a year, not because he loved it. Interesting out of the major stars of the Dodger team in the 1950s, he is the last alive. (Although some others like Carl Erskine, Ralph Branca and George Shuba are still with us.) But he was a legitimate Hall of Famer.

One of my favorite stories is Snider says sometimes Casey Stengel would pull him out of a game the Mets were losing badly and say, "Let's talk about the 1949 World Series. Or 1952. Or 1953. Or 1956." One day Snider said, "When are we going to talk about 1955, Casey?" Stengel said, "We will some day" but they never did.

Jonathan Stern
March 18, 2008
I saw an interview with Duke on television some years back. "Tragic" was the word he used to describe his year with the Mets.

Mike T
February 27, 2011
I was just revamping my spreadsheet of all my Mets autographs and noticed that I have collected quite a few various Duke Snider autographed items over the years, the oldest being a nice color 8 X 10 of a photo from 1963. I made the silent query, "I wonder how long he will be alive to sign more autographs." Nope. Just now saw on this site's Necrology link that The Duke passed away today. Horrible. And Greg Goossen too. Glad I also got his cards signed (through the mail).

glenn-troy ny
February 28, 2011
Not many baseball fans would even know he played for the Mets. You think Duke Snider and you think of the Dodgers. Another attempt of the Met front office to bring Brooklyn fans to Queens to watch one of their old heroes. RIP to Mr Snider and sympathies to his friends and family.

Mike F
February 28, 2011
RIP to the "Duke of Flatbash". He might have been overshadowed by Willie and Mickey in the 1950s, but he was one damn good ball player.









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